Carrot Ranch: Flash Fiction 8/11/2018

Lone Ranger

Going crazy, our cat saw something in the dark that she felt shouldn’t be in her territory. At first, I couldn’t see anything, but her night vision is better. But then I noticed the glint of dark eyes staring at us from the wildflower garden. A tangle of weeds and flowers blossom on the edge of the property, allowing for fauna hiding within, and on this night, the masked bandit was hiding inside.

Why the raccoon was there wasn’t apparent until the next day when we discovered our sweet corn was decimated, a tasty snack for a midnight marauder.

Nancy Brady, 2018

A flash fiction (99 words, no more, no less, not including the title) for the Carrot Ranch prompt for the week August 8. See all the flash fictions at


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BP: A Sense of Place: The Shore

The Haiku Foundation started a new weekly column called A Sense of Place in July. It was to take poets back to their roots of haiku writing by concentrating on the senses. Kathy J. Munro chooses the haiku based on the theme.

Kathy’s first choice of place was The Shore, and her first choice of sense was sight. From there, she continued weekly with the same place, but with a focus on hearing, smell, taste, and touch respectively.

As I live a block from Lake Erie, most of my haiku focused on that shore for my inspiration; however, the last came from a memory of a vacation trip with my family nearly thirty years ago. Even now, I remember how grossed out my sons were with my picking up what-to-them was a slimy sea cucumber (an echinoderm), which then acted defensively as it should.

lakeside walk

she searches

for lake glass



the waves slap

the shore


turkey vultures gather

on the lake shore

rotting carp


Lake Erie catch

lemon squeezed

onto fried perch


tidal pool

the sea cucumber lies limp

across my palm


Nancy Brady, 2018


To see all the selected haiku about the shore and the sense of touch for this week, including a few featured haiku with commentary, consider checking out A Sense of Place—Touch.

Thank you again, Kathy, for choosing to use one of my haiku for your column this and the previous weeks.

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Carrot Ranch…A Yellow Tent

For All In Tents and Purposes (A Carrot Ranch 99-word Flash Fiction)

The truck pulled up and parked on the side of the road. The two men climbed out of the truck. Arrayed in green shirts, khaki pants, boots, and a utility belt to rival Batman’s, they attached their belts and shimmied up the telephone pole.

With the sky looking overcast, the men put up a little safety yellow tent on the telephone line. Looking more like a tiny house than a typical pup tent, it hung there fifty feet above the street. It sheltered the two men as they worked furiously to fix the phone lines before the storm hit.

See more 99-word (no more, no less) flash fictions at This week’s prompt is a yellow tent. Join the fun and let the muse plants seeds of imagination.





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Triathlon in a Month: Final week…

…plus a bit more as this incorporates the fourth week as well as the three days ending the month. With the last day of July now complete, this urban hiker achieved her goal and a bit more.

The original goal of this urban hiker (pedometer geek) set for the’s Triathlon in a Month was 100 miles. That milestone was achieved by the end of the third week of July, and this urban hiker decided to increase the goal to another 35 miles.

As of July 31, that goal was not only met, but exceeded with a total of over 141 miles. Most of the triathlon’s miles were through walking, but there were a few miles obtained through other activities like biking.

More important than the mileage was the donations made to various charities. My choice of charities was the American Diabetes Association.

BP: On another subject altogether, this week’s Haiku Foundation’s column A Sense of Place published one of my haiku on the subject of The Shore-taste. It is as follows:

Lake Erie catch

lemon squeezed

onto fried perch

-Nancy Brady, 2018

Check out more haiku by haiku poets around the world  at


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The Journey of a 1000 miles…(June ’18)

…begins with a single step. In June, this pedometer geek added 119 miles to the total of the goal of a thousand miles.  Since ahead of last year’s goal of walking a thousand miles, this pedometer geek/urban hiker plans on finishing up sometime in August this year. With only 260 miles remaining as of the first of July, it is more than possible, leaving open the possibility of adding an additional 500 miles or so before the year’s end.

June’s pedometer counts were better with a total of 306,111 steps logged. Of these, 51,530 steps were considered aerobic (at least ten minutes of continuous movement). Although the overall average of at least 10,000 steps a day was achieved, only 17 days was the daily goal of at least 10,000 steps met.

As an aside, the goal set for’s Triathlon in a Month was met (see previous blog posts), and with more than a week to go, this pedometer geek hopes to complete another 35 miles for a total of 135 miles.

During the month this pedometer geek reader completed eight books, one of which was nonfiction. The rest can be sorted into various genres including romance and suspense. Half of the authors were new to this reader, and half of the books were read in an e-book format.

The challenges had dismal results. The yearlong pages-read challenge brought the total to 16,062 pages of the 40,000 page goal. The quarterly Set-it-yourself (SIY) ended with another failure as all the books chosen for the challenge were not completed during the quarter. The reality of completing only 8 out of 13 books is sobering for this reader, and it has this reader vowing to make one more attempt at this challenge before calling it quits. During this quarter from the beginning of April through the end of June, however, 32 books were read during the three months, but that only proves it is not a lack of reading–just not reading the chosen books.

In June, the following books were read:

Accused by Lisa Scottoline   *

Exposure: A Love Story by Tracy Ewens

Come Sundown by Nora Roberts   *

Caravel by Stephanie Garber

Ladies Night by Mary Kay Andrews   *

The Beauty Bride by Claire Delacroix

The Lucky Ones by Tiffany Reisz

A Dog Walks into a Nursing Home by Sue Halpern

The month’s selections were diverse even among those of the same genre. Nora Roberts’ Come Sundown was reviewed extensively on my review site, The other books will be briefly described here.

Accused by Lisa Scottoline is a thriller about a young girl hiring a pair of lawyers to overturn the conviction of the man accused of killing her older sister.

Tracy Ewens’ Exposed: A Love Story is a contemporary romance. This is the part of a series, but can be read as a standalone. This was not the first of hers that I have read, and it won’t be the last. Her blog is worth reading as well.

Caravel is a YA fantasy novel about two young women who escape their island home and their abusive father to participate in a bizarre game.

Mary Kay Andrews’ Ladies Night is mainstream fiction about a soon-to-be divorced woman blogger who is required to be in a Divorce Recovery group along with a few other people dealing with divorce issues. While it might sound like a downer, there is humor and uplifting moments throughout.

The Beauty Bride is a historical romance between a young woman who is auctioned off by her brother to the highest bidder, a stranger. She has no intention of marrying the man and escapes, but can he convince her otherwise? In this reader’s opinion, the title was lame.

Tiffany Reisz is branching out from her normal genre of erotic fiction in The Lucky Ones, a gothic tale of a group of foster children adopted by a philanthropic doctor. The young woman, who left the family years earlier returns when he is dying, brings the past into the present. Now grown, the children confront their past.

The only nonfiction book is Sue Halpern’s stories of her dog Pransky’s work as a therapy dog in a nursing home and the life lessons Sue herself learned as she got to know some of the elderly patients who lived there.

That’s it for June’s reads for this pedometer geek; suggestions always welcomed.

* SIY books










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Carrot Ranch: 99 Word Flash Fiction

Rose’s Valuables

Rose packed her bag as she was told. Underwear, socks, dresses, and, of course, her teddy bear Samuel, who knew everything. Sam listened, comforted, and kept secrets. Samuel was her best friend.

Her parents and Rose walked to the train station; she carried her whole world in that suitcase.

The men made Rose put her suitcase with the others. “They’ll be on the train,” they said, herding everyone into train cars.

As the train pulled away, Rose saw all the suitcases still on the platform. Her little suitcase was dumped, contents rifled, and the bear tossed onto the bonfire.

This flash fiction was based upon this week’s prompt at Carrot Ranch: a suitcase left. For more 99 word, (no more, no less), flash fictions, check out

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Wrong Way

Words of wisdom from Barbara. Sometimes you have to change direction and turn around.

From the Keyboard

arrow communication direction display Photo by Pixabay on

Have you ever found yourself heading in the wrong direction down a one-way street?

That happened to my mother when she was driving me to a late rehearsal in Manhattan. It was the first rehearsal, and she was unsure of the best route to our destination, so she made a wrong turn.

I was nine, and I remember exactly three things about that turn: the volume of rush hour traffic heading toward us; my mother’s curses in three different languages; and the speed with which she spun the car around and got us off the road.

She was a good driver, my mother—focused and assured, with marvelous instincts and steady nerves, and loved to be behind the wheel. In all her years of driving, she never had an accident.

But that’s beside the point.

She knew, as soon as she made that turn, she would…

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